Unbridled Cynicism

less bullshit, more often?

Shiny new camera toy

This turned up at Whilton’s, for $395. kuroneko informed me of its presence when he went window-shopping.

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Caption: Nikon WT-4, currently doing… not much, sitting in front of my laptop

She’s a great find, a real beauty. As best I can tell, it’s an original Japanese purchase, and very well looked-after with all the original accessories. The owner must’ve been as obsessive-compulsive as myself - even the little plastic bags that the straps/caps/cables came in are present, empty and packed into the bottom of the box.

I first tried setting it up while hungover from the previous night’s work-related drinking session. The alcohol wasn’t helping, but the office wifi was even flakier than I was, so I eventually got it working by tethering to my phone. I know this isn’t really that amazing, but I was greatly amused by the idea of the files being pushed to the access-point in my pocket, then over a 3G connection to my server in the datacentre. Just wait ‘til I get a satellite phone.

So what’s good about it?

  • Easy enough to setup, I didn’t use the manual
  • Fairly light - the battery is the heaviest component
  • Small enough to strap on or drop in a pouch
  • Use of FTP is good, means you can use whatever server you want to receive the files
  • Takes the same batteries as my D700, this is a huge win

What’s not so good?

  • Battery life is quite poor, you’ll get a couple of hours of decent use
  • Something more secure than FTP would be nice, but configuring SFTP would probably be a nightmare
  • The price - AU$1200 new at DCW, secondhand on ebay for AU$580, new at Adorama or B&H for US$700. I figure mine was an absolute steal.
  • Configuring the connection settings from the camera is possible, but annoying. There’s no backspace!
    • The Nikon software for your PC/Mac is kinda offensive, but does the job much faster

In use, it’s good. I set it to transfer only jpegs (I shoot raw + small jpeg), and to do so automatically for every shot. The WT-4 opens the FTP connection whenever the camera is awake, and displays a little green arrow on the LCD when it’s transmitting the just-taken photo. When it’s finished, the arrow turns blue. Really simple.

I let the WT-4 upload files to a public directory on the server. Not much to see, but this is untouched, direct from the camera.

I think if you were doing anything experimental or iterative, you’d be best off disabling auto upload and selecting images for yourself (press the OK button to toggle the upload-flag on an image). That said, kuroneko and I are hoping to be doing some booth-shooting at an anime convention later this year, so we’ll be sending every photo down the wire to a nearby PC. Different options for different situations.